Robert J. Samuelson: Ryan's Medicare plan might work, a study says

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  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    Aug. 22, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    Samuelson is not looking at current data. Medicare Advantage Plans cost much more than Traditional Medicare today. The Medicare Advantage Plans operating much like an HMO cut serious medical services but fill in the plan with cheap fluff like over the counter medications, gym memberships, etc. The real problem arises when a senior on a Medicare advantage plan has a serious health crisis & finds they are not covered which results in higher out of pocket costs. It's a good thing to rein in these plans. I can't imagine how a Ryan plan would help us seniors. The problem is that seniors are not covered on the open market. Those 55 or younger will be needing Medicare just as much as those over 55! The private sector doesn't do it cheaper!

  • George Bronx, NY
    Aug. 21, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    @ patriot: You know, you would be more credible if you actually read and acknowledged what is in the article.

    You may not like Obama, but to deny the reality of the ACA and the changes it makes to Medicare (which is what Republicans are arguing against) makes you look uninformed and does nothing to further the Conservative cause.

    How can you raise a valid argument against something when you won't even admit that what you are arguing against exists?

  • George Bronx, NY
    Aug. 21, 2012 11:44 a.m.

    Under the current Ryan plan, the voucher system would set the amount at the cost of the second to lowest cost plan and the vouchers would be adjusted every year for inflation. Certain services would have to be covered by all medical plans.

    The problem is that healthcare (particularly insurance) costs rise at rates higher than inflation - if this trend continues under the voucher plan, it would not be very long before most seniors were priced out of vouchers forcing them to use the current system resulting in no change to the cost - or delivery - of Medicare compared to what we currently have.

    (Under the current system, part of the cost of the Medicare Advantage program is paid by the government - seniors pay out of pocket for the amount over what traditional Medicare covers.)

    The only real solution is a combination of the ACA Act and vouchers. If seniors have the ability to shop around for a cost saving plan that covers the basics while the insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals are being told they will not be reimbursed exorbitant rates nor will they be reimbursed for unnecessary tests and procedures, then - and only then - will healthcare costs be controllable.

  • Republicantthinkstraigh Anywhere but, Utah, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    Might work huh.... Sounds pretty confident. NOT!

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    Yes, Ryan's plan would help insurance companies compete more to attract recipients of the vouchers to sign up with them.

    The problem is that it hurts those who are the most needy. The rich will be able to add to their voucher and buy Cadillac policies. The poor may not be able to buy any policy if the voucher isn't large enough.

    If the purpose of a national health plan is to help those who need it most, the Ryan plan is the wrong way to go.

    Let's think of a better way to bring competition into the health care market. Health care spending will go down when the poor are able to go the doctor when symptoms appear, and not try to wait until the problems become catastrophic or chronic.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 8:18 a.m.

    well one thing is for sure - the current model is broken and will soon go bankrupt.. just a matter of time. So either we create a new plan or we wait and go bankrupt. Obama is for waiting. Ryan on the other hand says let those over 54 have current medicare and for those younger lets get a new system started based on all a whole host of innovative savings plans etc... At least the GOP has a forward looking plan - what do the democrat's have?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 21, 2012 7:43 a.m.

    Not even Ryan believes his plan works. If we're going to trust biased right wing think tanks rather REAL credible sources, then lets keep looking for WMDs in Iraq, invade Iran, and lower taxes on the rich even more. In fact, lets eliminate all taxes on folks like Romney.